KK’S PRIEST – Sermons Of The Sinner

KK'S PRIEST - Sermons Of The Sinner
  • 8/10
    KK'S PRIEST - Sermons Of The Sinner - 8/10


Label: EX1 Records
Release date: October 1, 2021

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Born from conflict

It has already been ten years, since K.K. Downing, one of the founders of Judas Priest left the band in a grave atmosphere, a couple of years after the return of Rob Halford. And Judas has celebrated their 50th anniversary. That is an example of longevity. For Sermons Of The Sinner, K.K. Downing united with ex-members of the Judas clergy to form his band, with this odd dynamic: an ode to the true spirit of Judas Priest and in opposition to the modern embodiment of the band. The lineup includes Tim Ripper Owens, himself, who replaced Rob Halford from 1996 to 2003, Sean Elg, Tony Newton and A.J Mills. The name of the band itself is an indicator of this conflictual relation between K.K. Downing and his band for the past forty years.

Imitation games?

Fans of the Priest, be reassured, you don’t have to pick one side. Sermons of the Sinner is a very decent album with very good moments that hides the less inspired ones. Tim Ripper Owens might have not convinced everyone when he was in Judas Priest, but you have to reckon he has an impressive range and this style fits him like a glove. The sound is unmistakably labelled with the Priest sigil. It’s classic Heavy Metal with galloping bass lines, sharp-edged riffs and haunting screams.

A manifest of authenticity

The opening of the album is efficient but seems to lack some lustre. “Sacerdote y Diablo” is the song that allows the ensemble to rise. “Raise your fist” again is not bad, but couldn’t they come up with a refrain that has not already been used and reused ad-nauseam? On the other hand, the production is tight and clear. Songs have a clear and concise structure.

They follow the classic recipe of how to make a classic Heavy Metal hit, and annoyingly perhaps, it still works wonders. With the song “Metal Through and Through” you will have a déjà-vu experience. Yes, the bass line is rather similar to “Heaven and Hell”. The songs also clearly aimed at being a Heavy Metal anthem. Tim Ripper Owens performances have to be saluted. The album might not have the strongest start, but the conclusive duo “Hail for the Priest” and “Return of the Sentinel” are excellent in every respect

After a first listening session, you might have mitigated feelings about Sermons of the Sinner. However, this album deserves a chance. The quality of the production and the musicians performances outweighs any lack of originality. As they do not cross the fine line between authenticity and hackneyed formula.


  • Séverine Peraldino

    Reviewer, interviewer and apprentice photographer for Metal Express Radio, Séverine comes from a small place in the Southern French Alps, near Grenoble. Her taste for classic Heavy Metal is a family heritage and after growing up listening to Iron Maiden, Dio, Metallica and Angra she expanded her horizons with almost every subgenre of Metal, from Power, to Prog, a little bit of Death and Black Metal. She mostly enjoys albums telling stories with originality. When she is not travelling around for concerts and festivals, you can find her reading a good book, or playing board games with friends.

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1 Comment

  1. This album surprised me. I’m not really a fan of anything Ripper has done outside of Priest, but he is quite impressive here. I was expecting a Priest clone, but KK’s stands on its own.

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